By William Sheehan
Astronomy is by way of a ways the preferred of the actual sciences, attractive sufficient to develop into an important cultural preoccupation for lots of, and for a few a captivating clinical task which assuredly ideas their lives. what's the nature of that probably unstoppable charm? during this energetic and compelling account, William Sheehan – expert psychiatrist, famous historian of astronomy, and incurable observer - explores the character of that attract during the tale of man's visible exploration of the planets.
In this quantity, the 1st of a trilogy, Sheehan starts off with observational astronomy’s profound and lasting impact on his personal existence, surroundings the issues of embarkation for the adventure to come back. He travels around the historic panorama looking the earliest origins of man's compulsion to watch the planets one of the hunter gatherers of the higher palaeolithic, and strains the evolving tale from the planetary documents of the earliest towns, to Pharonic Egypt via to Hellenistic Greek astronomy culminating in Ptolemy. the need to become aware of performed its half within the perceptual adjustments wrought by means of the Copernican revolution, in addition to the observational advances accomplished through such amazing characters as Tycho together with his sharpest of eyes, and his sumptuous perform of overall astronomy. the 2 epochal advances released in 1609, either born via planetary commentary, specifically Kepler's discovery of the real nature of the orbit of Mars and Harriot and Galileo’s observations of the Moon, have a pivotal position during this account.
Sheehan weaves a wealthy tapestry of social and technological settings, patronage and personalities, gear and talents, cosmologies and objectives, factors and compulsions to aim to provide an explanation for why we have now saw, and proceed to monitor, the planets.
The compelling textual content of A ardour for the Planets is better by way of the especially commissioned planetary paintings of Julian Baum, himself son of a famous planetary observer and historian of planetary observers, and Randall Rosenfeld.
A ardour for the Planets can be of curiosity to all novice astronomers; lively planetary observers; armchair astronomers; these drawn to the heritage of astronomy; the cultural background of technology; and astronomical art.
Read or Download A Passion for the Planets: Envisioning Other Worlds, From the Pleistocene to the Age of the Telescope PDF
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Extra resources for A Passion for the Planets: Envisioning Other Worlds, From the Pleistocene to the Age of the Telescope
In: Best Science Fiction Stories of H. G. Wells (New York: Dover Publications, 1966), p. 276. 47 Percival Lowell, Mars and Its Canals (New York: Macmillan, 1906), p. 8. 48 To be perfectly correct, it was the character in Lovecraft’s abortive novel, Azaroth, these words describe. The 500 words of the beginning of this novel are quoted in their entirety in a letter from H. P. Lovecraft to Frank Belknap Long, June 9, 1922. 45 46 2 By Passion Driven 41 I assert, however, that it is not even necessary to use a telescope for all the old passion to kindle into flame.
Quoted in Guthrie, The Nature of Paleolithic Art, p. 115. 17 18 20 2 By Passion Driven and estate. From the confining and paltry backyard of my parents’ humble abode, I enjoyed – in the vertical direction – a view over territory so vast that it beggared the imagination. It was, to all practical intents and purposes, mine and mine alone. I tended to regard it so. The Moon and the planets and the stars never seemed to have other company; I was the only one present in the throne-room of these divinities, bearing the names of the classical gods and goddesses, when they granted their audiences with me – sometimes shrouding their majesty in incense and enhancing their mystery by playing hide and seek with me behind the clouds; now and then – sometimes best when the sky was hazy rather than brazenly clear, more often at twilight than in the deep night – the air grew steady and the markings sharpened like a steel engraving and confided to me and me alone a new revelation, an irregular twist to the Jovian bands, a dusky marking or polar cap on Venus, that made me wish for all the world for a larger telescope.
Their ranks included Arthur Stanley Williams, who lived in a boat and had his telescope on shore; the stage and screen comedian W. T. ” In: George Steiner: a Reader (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984), p. 173. 26 H. G. Wells, The First Men in the Moon, op. , p. 8. 2 By Passion Driven 27 Great White Spot of Saturn of 1933; the famously eccentric Patrick Moore, who with his monocle and xylophone and dogmatic opinions could not fail to make a very strong impression. A. of whom Richard Baum has written: Several days ago J.